Eurasian Economic Union Trademark in the Spotlight

The Eurasian Economic Union (hereinafter – EAEU) is an economic union of states located in Eastern Europe, Western Asia, and Central Asia. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed on 29 May 2014 by the leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and came into force on 1 January 2015. EAEU currently comprises 5 member states – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

On February 3, 2020, an Agreement on Trademarks and Geographical Indications of the Eurasian Economic Union was signed in Moscow. In the beginning of this year all EAEU member states have ratified this agreement and therefore the procedure of registration of EAEU mark is expected to be launched soon. The Parties shall still agree on and bring in compliance filing, examination, publication and registration procedures and fees that might take several months.

All the requirements and particulars of the EAEU trademark registration procedure will be agreed upon by the Parties and outlined in the Instructions to the Agreement.  These Instructions will be subject to approval by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission and expected to be published on the EAEU official website.

The EAEU Agreement on Trademarks and Geographical Indications establishes a regional system for the protection of trademarks and geographical indications, which will allow applicants to obtain a grant of protection valid simultaneously within the territory of all member states of the Union with a unified priority date.

To obtain the protection of an EAEU trademark, it will be necessary to file one application with the Patent and Trademark Office of any member state of the Union. Such office will be considered the Office of Filing.

Upon completion of the formal examination at the Office of Filing, the application is sent for an independent examination of the applied designation to the rest of the EAEU Offices.

The final decision on granting protection to a trademark is made as a result of the substantive examination in all national Offices. A refusal decision at least at one national office is sufficient to refuse registration of a trademark in all member states. Moreover, the Agreement provides a three months` opposition period, when interested parties are able to submit their objections to the registration of the mark with the National Office.

Another key feature of this system is the possibility to replace several registrations in member states with a single trademark within the Union. In this case, a relevant application shall be submitted to any national Office.

EAEU trademark will be valid for 10 years from the date of application and can be renewed multiple times for 10 years every time. The non-use grace period of the EAEU trademark is three years from the registration date. It should be noted that the use of a trademark at least in one of the member states of the Union excludes the possibility of non-use cancellation of the registration.

The Agreement also provides for a regional system of protection of geographical indications, which implies the creation of a Unified Register of Geographical Indications. As soon as this Register is formed, the right holders will be able to apply to the national Patent and Trademark Offices with a request to register the geographical indication in the EAEU Unified Register and to issue a Certificate of the right to use it.

It is expected that such a new trademark registration system will simplify and enhance the procedure of protection of intellectual property rights in the EAEU member states. It will therefore improve the business climate in this region and offer new opportunities to boost economic growth.

It’s worth mentioning that the Eurasian Economic Union is a large consumer market with a GDP of over $ 5 trillion and of 180 million people. The EAEU encourages the free movement of goods and services, and has common policies in the macroeconomic sphere, foreign trade and investment, agriculture, customs, transport industry, energy, competition and antitrust regulation that makes this market attractive for investors and interesting for a lot of companies that would like to expand their business and export of their products into new territories.